2010 YZ450F mushy front brakes


35 replies to this topic
  • smokingtz

Posted March 23, 2013 - 07:35 AM

#1

Just bought a used 2010. Front has EBC red pads about half gone, Otherwise the system is stock. Lever is spongy even after fluid change and bleeding. Because of this the front brake power is not so good. I've searched this forum and found others complaining and using a Honda CRF master and even a Honda caliper/ Any ideas? I'll replace the pads but want to make sure that I'm not doing it for nothing. My 03 YZ450F stock brakes feel worlds better.

  • cereal killer

Posted March 23, 2013 - 07:47 AM

#2

Have your fork seals been leaking at all? Might you have gotten some oil on the pads? I've had that happen before and no amount of cleaning will make the pads behave like new again.

OEM pads seem to provide the most bite. I've tried the EBC red pads too and they aren't bad, but Yamaha or Honda OEM pads are better.

  • smokingtz

Posted March 23, 2013 - 07:16 PM

#3

seals are fine. anybody know if there are master cylinder differences between 2010 and earlier models?

  • Yzflier977

Posted March 24, 2013 - 06:18 AM

#4

I bought a used 2009 yz450 and it had what I would consider mushy brakes. At least that's what it felt like from lever feedback. I bled the brakes, installed new OEM brake pads (it needed the pads anyway) and still had a mushy lever. Swapped the stainless front brake line off my 2 stroke before I sold it and still mushy lever. At this point I'm getting frustrated. Finally when I was at the track talking to a guy with another 09 he suggests adjusting the brake lever position. I adjusted it further out with the set screws and now I absolutely love the way it feels. The Yamaha has pretty good brakes but it took some lever tuning for me to find that happy setting for my particular liking. Hope that helps.

  • mxbrewski

Posted March 24, 2013 - 08:55 AM

#5

I replaced the YZ brake system with a Honda master and caliper from a 2006 CRF. I have back that firm brake feel. I noticed that the CRF caliper had about 2-3 mm bigger pistons in it compared to the Yamaha. It has been noted in this forum also that you can swap the YZF master cylinder for a CRF and get a better brake. All kinds of CRF calipers, master cylinders and complete systems on e-bay. I was lucky too get a comlete system locally off Craigslist. Also the brake pads from the CRF have more surface area than the YZF pads.

  • Jim813

Posted March 24, 2013 - 09:02 AM

#6

A CRF master cylinder and brake pads will help. I would go with something around the 2006+ mark, as the master cylinders from those years have a linkage style plunger that gives a bit more power. These will help with the mushy feel. I ended up adding an EBC 280mm rotor as there just wasn't enough brake for me even after getting a firmer feel. I'm sure a stainless line would help, but I haven't tried one on this bike.

  • aja342

Posted March 24, 2013 - 09:47 AM

#7

Have the same problem. One of my many crashes mashed the lever to the bar and it has never been the same since. Tried new pads and bleeding but the lever still feels very mushy. Would a rebuild of all the seals in the master cyl. help?

  • BBrown626

Posted March 25, 2013 - 04:49 PM

#8

You probably don't need to replace anything. Bleed them again, carfully. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get all the air out. When properly bled they are pretty good.

  • vic2340

Posted March 26, 2013 - 10:04 PM

#9

wow i have an 09 yz450f and ive been bleeding the crap out of the front brakes trying to get them to not be mushy and there is no use. My 03 yz250's brakes grab as soon as you tap the brakes while the yz450f's you have to bottom out the lever to get a nice grab. i think it may be the pads however. the previous owner let fork oil bleed all over the brakes and it ruined the rubber brake pin sleeves and I suppose the oil permanently ruins the pads. i used brake clean on them and wire brushed them like crazy. Anyways I have a question, when i fill up my brake with fluid and turn the bleed nipple out one turn i noticed that the fluid just keeps running out until my reservoir is dry, This is of course if I dont hook up a vinyl line to the nipple and loop the line. this is without me even pumping my brakes. Could it be that My master cylinder is bad? ( and I know very well how to bleed brakes, i even have a vacuum bleeder and i still cant get my lever to grab nice like my yz250's.)

  • WouldsAssassin

Posted March 27, 2013 - 01:42 PM

#10

Alright here's what I just did that may have cured the spongy feeling. Like all of you I was disappointed and bleeding the brakes and getting nowhere. I hated the idea of putting Honda parts on my bike. On the last ride I was complaining to my KTM riding friends about it. One grabbed my lever and said "it's just like the KTM brake, it's fine." Another recommended pulling the brake lever and putting a strap around the brake lever and grip to keep pressure on it overnight. I had mine strapped for about 36 hours, but now it's rock solid. I can't believe the difference. Try it before buying unnecessary parts. I'll update with how long it lasts, but right now I'm amazed at the difference.

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  • smokingtz

Posted March 28, 2013 - 02:19 PM

#11

Hmmm, I sort of recall in a previous life roadracing we would do that. Can't remember if it ever worked. I suppose it's worth a shot.

  • smokingtz

Posted March 29, 2013 - 08:31 PM

#12

felt a 2011 RMZ450 front brake and it was rock hard. mine is not even close

  • souliog

Posted March 31, 2013 - 06:28 AM

#13

I've cured this same problem on my 06'.

Two things you need.
1. Remove caliper from fork leg and elevate above master cylinder.
2. Use a hand vacuum pump brake bleeder. Open the bleeder screw just enough to bleed.

If it's mushy, there is a air bubble in there.

Now that mine is air free, it is every bit firm as my friends crf.

Edited by souliog, March 31, 2013 - 06:29 AM.


  • smokingtz

Posted April 06, 2013 - 01:31 PM

#14

don't have a vacuum bleeder so i swapped my 03 450 master. much improvement and bonus of using my Sunline lever. I'll go back to the stock master if I pick up a vacuum or pressure bleeder

  • WouldsAssassin

Posted April 08, 2013 - 10:17 AM

#15

So my bike sat for almost 2 weeks after strapping my lever down overnight and posting my results.

I finally rode the bike yesterday and the front brake is still solid. A few times on the trails it felt too strong. I had to relearn how to use the front brake as it is very solid and strong.

Nonetheless, there are no more complaints here. If you have mushy brakes, you have air in the line.

Edited by WouldsAssassin, April 08, 2013 - 10:17 AM.


  • smokingtz

Posted April 08, 2013 - 05:09 PM

#16

Anybody know what year Honda front brake pads fit a 2010 YZ450F? These are thinner than the older YZ's

  • zeuszuki

Posted April 09, 2013 - 07:18 AM

#17

Anybody know what year Honda front brake pads fit a 2010 YZ450F? These are thinner than the older YZ's


??? Go and buy some genuine pads, I would not personally run anything else and they cost about the same as any other reputable brand ( over here in NZ anyway ).

  • zeuszuki

Posted April 09, 2013 - 07:28 AM

#18

Alright here's what I just did that may have cured the spongy feeling. Like all of you I was disappointed and bleeding the brakes and getting nowhere. I hated the idea of putting Honda parts on my bike. On the last ride I was complaining to my KTM riding friends about it. One grabbed my lever and said "it's just like the KTM brake, it's fine." Another recommended pulling the brake lever and putting a strap around the brake lever and grip to keep pressure on it overnight. I had mine strapped for about 36 hours, but now it's rock solid. I can't believe the difference. Try it before buying unnecessary parts. I'll update with how long it lasts, but right now I'm amazed at the difference.


Ever bled Avid MTB brakes? If you do it by the book; fill syringe with fluid, block off tip and pull on plunger to cause a vacuum, you should see how much air comes out of the fluid!!! Once all the air is out bleed fluid into brake system- rock solid lever !
Same principal works on any hydraulic system, if there is air ANYWHERE in there it will not work at its optimum, you want a hydraulic and NOT a pneumatic system.

  • grayracer513

Posted April 09, 2013 - 08:20 AM

#19

??? Go and buy some genuine pads, I would not personally run anything else and they cost about the same as any other reputable brand ( over here in NZ anyway ).


Honda pads have been shown to provide a more solid and aggressive feel than OEM YZ pads. Different compound. Don't know which ones fit the '08 and later "small" calipers, though. I would take the current pads to a Honda shop and try to match them up.

  • zeuszuki

Posted April 09, 2013 - 11:03 PM

#20

Honda pads have been shown to provide a more solid and aggressive feel than OEM YZ pads. Different compound. Don't know which ones fit the '08 and later "small" calipers, though. I would take the current pads to a Honda shop and try to match them up.


Interesting, I am happy with OEM - blue dot, not the yellow dot compound.





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